Plains & Pods: a new integrated system of seating, surfaces, and planters

New from Landscape Forms and renowned London-based design studio Industrial Facility, Plains & Pods™ are integrated systems of seating, surfaces and planters designed to bring depth and individuality to public outdoor space. As two sibling products, Plains & Pods are designed to work elegantly both together and independently, and are unified in the way they use minimalist, non-prescriptive design to prioritize flexibility, adaptability, and user autonomy.

“Much like a blank piece of paper or a very simple rectangular table, when you see Plains & Pods, what you’re seeing is potential,” describes Sam Hecht, designer and co-founder of Industrial Facility. “And when you see something as potential, it means you can impart yourself on it. There’s no code to it—it’s a setting where life is played out.”

Rectilinear and architectural, Plains are comprised of large-format platforms and beams, varying in height and width to create customizable settings of layered seating and surfaces. “What makes me so passionate about solutions like Plains is that while they do read intuitively or subconsciously as benches, they also can come across as so much more,” says Landscape Forms Director of Design, Ryan Heiser. “Laying down, perching, sitting cross-legged, breaking down the division between ‘me space’ and ‘we space’—using Plains, unlike a traditional bench, feels much more natural because it’s not encoded with the same rules or expectations.”

As Plains’ curvilinear counterpart, Pods are seating and planters designed to be grouped together in multi-layered clusters of respite space and attractive greenery. Different groupings of Pods modules give users the opportunity to determine how they interact with space—from large and open communal zones, to areas for privacy, to single seating and quick individual touch-down points, Pods can scatter out to bring social and aesthetic depth to the landscape. “This is one of those product systems that’s changing the narrative about how to use furniture in public space,” describes Landscape Forms Chief Innovation Officer, Kirt Martin. “We’re seeing a lot of demand for these interactive, multi-dimensional site furnishings in the custom sphere, but Pods is the first standard product in our portfolio that combines these ideas of layers and multiple use cases.”

As fully-fledged product systems, both Plains & Pods individually bring depth, multi-functionality and user freedom to the landscape, but together their impact is magnified. Combined compositions go deeper into determining the social ambiance of space, creating many nodes for many different types of interaction—large groups, small groups, families, couples, solos wanting privacy, and solos wanting to interact with others sharing the space. “Together, these two products are all about layering space and experiences to create pockets of recognizable design DNA that are totally non-prescriptive,” says Ryan Heiser. “People can approach a Plains & Pods installation from 360-degrees and determine exactly how they want to use it.”

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About Damian Holmes 3288 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/